About this Show

Key Capitol Hill Hearings

Speeches from policy makers and coverage from around the country.

NETWORK

DURATION
02:01:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v109

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Texas 5, Us 5, America 4, Marilyn 3, United States 3, Dr. Jason Furman 3, Arkansas 2, Minnesota 2, California 2, Dan Durham 1, Ftc 1, Kinks 1, Cms 1, Marilyn Moon 1, Mr. Brouwer 1, Mr. Levin 1, Roche 1, Bandar 1, Doc 1, Et Cetera 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Speeches from policy makers and  
   coverage from around the country.  

    February 25, 2014
    10:00 - 12:01am EST  

10:00pm
being done 100 years ago that is being done today that should be done? and i cannot think of anything. and so when i look at that whole process it, again, has become a tool to make a facility run more efficient. in that part of our mission, we are failing because we are sending the matter into the community worse than they came in command and believe that is what makes this time in administrative segregation. when i hear some of the comments @booktv this bucket john j. university a few weeks ago on some issues interactions. sitting next to me was the director of the texas corrections in florida or california corrections, some pretty big systems. when i was asked that question by one of the audience members i said -- and appointed to the others, welcome to the knuckle
10:01pm
dragging fun club because the public perception is that is what we are. and if i can stress one thing, and i saw mr. samuels trying to stress it, and i would also. at one time early in my law enforcement career i may have had that same impression, but i have to tell you that overall i have never seen a more dedicated professional group of men and women at risk their lives and do it because they want to have a safer community and put themselves at great risk to do that. that aside, like any large bureaucracy -- envy tend to be the largest in any state or close to it, you end up with problems. it is how we react to those problems. that is why right now when i really appreciate what he have done by calling this hearing in miami participate because i can tell you that i don't know of any state in the nation that is not taking a hard look at their
10:02pm
administrative segregation policy. you have really brought to the forefront. we all understand that as professionals the movement is -- this is not the right way we should be treating people. we get that. will we ask for his help in finding some solutions because there are some that are too dangerous that they cannot be let out. i have to stress, than as a small number. >> thank you. in your written testimony you stated that while the goal of your reforms is to decrease the number of offenders house in administrative segregation, there will be a need for a prison within a prison. some vendors will need to be isolated to provide a secure environment for both staff and offenders. it strikes me that a great many people would think that solitary confinement, particularly for an
10:03pm
extended amount of time is not an appropriate punishment for relatively minor infractions, but it could well be a necessary tool for those violent inmates and may pose a real threat to the safety of other inmates or guards. these are the members of this panel has interacted with the criminal-justice system in different capacities. as carmen in mr. thibodaux as inmates. mr. brouwer administering. mr. dear roche administering and helping bring hope and redemption to those incarcerated mr. levin studying in the important justice issues. the question that i would ask of all five of you is in your judgment based upon the different experiences you have
10:04pm
had, is there an appropriate role for solitary confinement? is there a need for it? and in what circumstances it at all? and i would welcome the views of all five witnesses. >> in my mind right now, yes. but in a limited sense. that is because i have said that there are some diseases for which there are no cures. that does not mean that we don't keep trying to find the cure for the disease. what i have been told by my clinician's is that we have four to five in our system that if they are let out of administrative segregation they will kill someone. they lay their responsibility on me, and i get that. but i also understand that in all other areas that there is so much room for improvements.
10:05pm
let's figure that group out. let's take care of on the other members sitting in administrative segregation that at this point i think there are many other alternatives other than keeping them there. >> i would -- >> yes. that is an actual question. what first of all say we have to distinguish 24 hours 72 hours to the fuse the situation. in texas long-term the average time in solitary is four years. some served as long as 24 years. the other issue in texas is thousands are placed in solitary confinement solely for being suspected gang members upon immediately entering prison. i think it is critical that -- and i question the extent to which we are doing and in texas. we have gone down by over 1,000 in the last couple of years since the server bringing this up with a legislature. there is an ongoing independent study that the legislature approved last session.
10:06pm
but one of the issues you brought up, commissioner, that is important is if you have somebody in solitary, having them be able to earn an hour more, programming and set so that they can get out or gradually work their way toward more interaction. then said that is a great idea. i think generally speaking the more you can create positive incentives and graduated sanctions for inmates to address this issue, that is going to be able to make sure that the people in long-term solitary confinement to be those that have done harm to other inmates or staff for a may statements indicating that they intend to do that. ian, the short term can be used to diffuse. but even that there is diaz collation training, things, just making sure there is another overcrowding. proper ratios to diffuse a lot of the attention of leads to violence behind bars.
10:07pm
>> there is a study, senator, i was done in minnesota for a fee based dorm that we have run there for more than ten years. there is a 10-year study of their single inmate that went through that program. every prisoner the went through there, the worst of the worst. at the same time we found that there was no deviation between the technical violations of the people that went through that program and the general population in minnesota which had a 37 percent recidivism rate in other words from a human beings are still going to be human beings even if they move away from a criminal lifestyle. so i do think that director's comments about technical violations that we should take to heart, that is the same type of behavior i see in my kids, the same type of behavior see in
10:08pm
the workplace. guess what, when we study it and find a bunch of people the mood with a criminal activity they will get it wrong on the technical side of how they get through the day. we need to take that seriously. when i started my statement, if you want to change the culture on the outside in our cities and their states we have got to change the culture on the inside, and i'll was so impressed and encouraged to hear people talking it was going out, mr. chairman, and the director, his willingness to go see people doing it right because they're our prisons where the population of people in the prisons have made a decision that they don't want to live in a bad downward spiraling culture. when the of the award is change that culture and use very sparingly the use of segregation were people knowing that they can return back to a positive and improving culture when they straighten there act out, that
10:09pm
is where it is best used on temporary, is with the invitation of working your way back because these corrections officers do have the responsibility the same as the people the serve and a fire department for. they have a difficult job. the we have to empower the improved we have to have professions. and they're using this power how is it being the doubt and to what end, what the outcome, what metric? we can do up far better job than we our's three you will love the will to eliminate. >> i don't believe the solitary confinement as a rehabilitated value, and therefore i think that it should not be used other than for the most serious security concerns bow.
10:10pm
what i have seen most often is disciplinary. this year that women do not go and attack ads say but some do spend years and years in solitary confinement. i can only emphasize that there is nothing rehabilitative about being locked into a tiny box for 23 hours a day. so correctional system should take seriously their responsibility to rehabilitate and to direct the tremendous amount of taxpayer dollars of they consume toward that goal. >> in my 15 years in angola it got to apply where we were all being taken to the are one of the time. when i got there they were taking us one tear at a time, but an incident takes place and everyone suffers the consequences, not just the person who commits the incident.
10:11pm
and that is a really big minus in the system because it tells everyone else that, well, it does not matter if i am a model inmate because i wouldn't punish someone does something wrong anyway. why should i bother. the solitary confinement is being used for the worst of the worst is assured because safety is the biggest issue in prison. let's face it. really eerie not everyone in prison is innocent. so if it is going to be used know your limitations. you know, don't just lock someone up penicillin forget about them. there's still a human being somewhere. they may have mentally shoes. they may have the emotional issues. but if you identify that and and find a way around it then you can deal with it in a humane way does not have to be put on a
10:12pm
jump suit and shower shoes and walk them -- locked in the self. the one thing i wanted more of when i was in the cell was time out of the cell. sadly that is not the reality. but if you want to have solitary confinement use it in the most limited capacity possible. >> thank you very much. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank all of you for coming in testifying in shedding light of this issue. and i particularly wanted thank mr. thibodaux because your testimony was very -- you have been there. as we say in hawaii, ma law for sharing your terrible experiences. i am concerned about reports that women are confined in
10:13pm
solitary for reporting abuse including sexual abuse by the bureau prison staff and especially as i have been working with senator gillibrand and others to address the issue of sexual assault on the military which is under the institution where survivors of sexual assault can also be at the mercy of their supervisors in the chain of command to to the power dynamic and possible threats of retaliation that can exist in both of these environments. so want to thank you for your testimony. and i do know that mr. ramus, you noted that 97 percent of our prisoners do get released into the community. so we need to pay attention to what is happening with them because, as you say, they should come out better, not worse than when they were imprisoned. i think that is a sentiment that all of us would share. ms. piper kerman, you heard the
10:14pm
responses to my questions about what happens in the instance of the power especially with regard to women and sexual abuse. now, having heard their responses do you think that the bureau of prisons is doing enough. >> no. i believe that in every woman's prison or jail that sexual abuse of women and girls by staff as a problem. kentucky are prison in alabama, those abuses have been revealed to be systemic. and very sinister.
10:15pm
a staff member who was under suspicion for sexually abusing prisoners would be removed from direct contact with the prisoner or prisoners that he was accused . but there would be there on the property. a person is innocent well proven guilty, i believe that. the effect they your abuser may not be far away from you, may be in view. so you might in fact see them all the time. the fear of solitary confinement in isolation, i cannot overemphasize how powerful an incentive that is.
10:16pm
tivoli and happens. they do not happen quickly. on a very practical levels you will lose your housing, your present job, you're house of privileges. all of these things conspired to really, really silence women. how much they can trust the people to him they are supposed to report abuse there are disincentives.
10:17pm
>> the best case scenario is further the male prisoners and all prisoners debt increased access to the upside world. most inclined to trust, not necessarily someone inside the institution. access to council is a tremendously important issue the vast majority are indigent. and so their access to council before locked up as poor. access to counsel while locked up is negligible. so those other things i will make the biggest difference. that would make the difference, not just in their ability to access justice while incarcerated but also to be
10:18pm
rehabilitated. a small metaphor for the total isolation of incarceration. only put people to the margins and makes it harder for them to return to the community. i don't want to confine my questions. but for the rest of the panel that may be one of the oas that we can shed light. i am not seeing this as symptomatic of everything is going on. it's a problem. would you agree that providing more access to the house side rule is one way that we can prevent some of the uses of power from occurring within the system? >> yes. and also an ombudsman, as scandal a schedule of -- sexual
10:19pm
abuses, one of the things we did not state which is not a chain of command of any prison warden and actually reported directly to the commission, texas youth commission at that time, the members appointed by the governor, not even a paid director. when you have an ombudsman not an incentive to manage a particular prison unit in these reports are abuses can go to an individual can then independently look into that. certainly not everyone was accurate, but some of the mark. l.a. when it is not kept totally within the unit there is more accountability and independence and examine that. >> of the rest of you agree? >> i would say very much so. we find that at prison the more that the prison lets folks and from the outside the less problems exist. it is an inverse relationship.
10:20pm
i think that it will continue. and i know that the gravity further state or federal officials to my site firsthand when i was speaker of the house in michigan. we have a mentally ill men -- in may found dead in the sell-off. he will do investigation. we have people. i think we need independent voices. people need immediate access, not a month later to a phone call about something that has happened in their life. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my time is up. >> thank you, senator. want to thank everyone who has testified here today. we have over 130 statements that have been submitted for the record. well not read the names of all the groups.
10:21pm
i think each and every one. it will be made part of the record without objection. as my staff to look. i am a part of that right. the degree of civilization in society can be judged by entering its prisons. and that is why this hearing in this testimony is so important. we have our charge to deal with issues involved in the constitution, civil rights, and human rights. i think all three of those elements come together and we are talking about today. there are some things that struck me as more or less complex. the results would be disastrous. we don't want to see children in solitary confinement or segregation. perhaps in the most extreme
10:22pm
cases, but otherwise no. no the vulnerability of women in incarceration and even more so in segregation, and reserve linoleum back to mental illness on the behavior of prisoners. the problems that we run into once put in solitary confinement if you get a chance to read mr. to those testimony do with. he goes there in graphic detail elements of segregation or solitary confinement which should not be acceptable under any circumstance, under any circumstance where the food you are given is barely edible, there is virtually no medical care given to those who are in this situation, where -- was struck by the sentence or use it for 15 years you're never seen a nice guy or stars. is one of those grouping realizations when you think about what you have been through
10:23pm
the limited access the you had to keep your body fed, limit access you had to outside visitors coming even as you said, you made a conscious tries to you did not want your son to see you there during that circumstance. all of these things suggest you know which goes beyond incarceration. it is -- it crosses the line in terms of what we should do to any human being. that is what this comes to. thank you all for being here. this is not the last of these hearings until the problem is resolved. i don't know that it will ever be totally resolved the we are moving in the right half -- right path. says that we are starting to move and the right direction. i commend the state's. i think senator crews will join me in saying many states have shown a real willingness to take this issue on even more than we have and it is important that we continue that and we learn from them in the process.
10:24pm
so we will leave the record open get some written questions. if you could respond in return we would appreciate it very much. thank you for being here. this meeting stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
10:25pm
[inaudible conversations] >> coming up on c-span2 insurance executives and health care policy analyst discuss the affordable care act. white house economic adviser reviews the president's budget proposal and attorney general eric holder talks was civil-rights. >> a couple of hearings here covering tomorrow. first, a hearing on sexual assault in the military. live coverage of the senate armed services subcommittee of personnel beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern. you can turn the conversation. and a senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on alzheimer's disease and its effect on the economy. live coverage at 2:00 p.m.
10:26pm
eastern. >> well we are told of as students and as a nation in terms of popular imagination is that there are all types of sit-in's and marches and demonstrations that occur, but they're really done by these famous iconic people. basically rosa parks is just was so tired that she refused to get up from the bus and sparked the bus boycott and basically a young preacher who even the president referred to during the election as this year and a preacher from georgia, darter martin luther king jr. he leaves the masses of african-americans from racial oppression. this notion that rose a cent and martin could do this stuff in jessica run and barack could fly, they sound good, but they're really simplify and much more complicated history.
10:27pm
that complicated history involves so many african-americans, women and men who proactively dismantle racial segregation, including rosa parks who was an activist. she did not just refuse to give up her seat by accident. it was a concerted and strategic effort to try to transform democratic institutions. >> university history professor and author of dark days, bright nights specializing in a subfield of effort, and what he calls black power studies. his latest, in bookstores march march 4th. someday you will take your questions live for three hours starting at noon eastern on a c-span2 book tv. >> and a meeting of the national association of business economics health insurance executive dan baron said the repeal of the affordable care act individual mandate would be a bad deal.
10:28pm
he and a panel of health policy analysts discuss the future of the health care law in this hour-long event. >> the chair of the health economics roundtable. i am ably assisted in that role by liz bernstein sitting appear in the front from the bureau of economic analysis. obviously if you have any comments as suggestions for running the round table we would love to hear from you. i would also like to thank my employer within which we have the senate for sustainable health spending and fortunately we are joined by the deputy director of that senate ms. turner in a rather. our center -- every month we put out free briefs on a timely basis to track how spending, crisis, and employment. just go to our website and our
10:29pm
staff is there. also, we do something that is really becoming a wonderful thing for us, and annual symposium in july in washington. we get the absolute best speakers to talk about health care spending trajectories, structural versus cyclical and cost factors. obviously if you have been paying attention today, which i know you have, so much of the conference has already been about health care spending because of a critical importance and various other aspects. speaking of thank you, want to thank our three exceptional speakers for taking time out of a busy schedules to come and speak. we have i great lineup. we are going to start with kristin young from the white house. she is going to talk a little bit about the ministrations perspective on health care reform. then we are going to turn over to bandar from america's health insurance plans.
10:30pm
gusty insurance perspective. and then we're going to go to a wise, sage, think tank representative, marilyn moon who will give us some broad perspective on health care reform. even though there is nearly no controversy whatsoever with the obamacare we're going to have some time for question and answer. so with that i would like to turnover to christian. i guess you have a choice to set or come over to the podium. >> can everyone here? great. wonderful. thank you so much. that introduction. i am delighted to be here to talk to folks today. as we talk about the future of the affordable care act i want to start by rewinding a little bit and reminding everyone where we were in 2009 and early 2010 when we were debating the affordable care act in congress in the final months before passage of the bill.
10:31pm
at that moment in history there were 50 million people uninsured and millions more joining the ranks every year. people did not have health insurance to their jobs face a messy patchwork of public and private programs, cobra, continuation coverage, seville insurance trucks and minivans and drug discount cards. for the truly sick, the two year wait for medicare, medicaid state options in some places, and it was entirely possible that the end of that process the answer was there was no insurance available at any price on top of that are premium trajectory was terrifying. more than doubled in just the previous ten years. .. ten years and folks looking at the shape of the medicare cost curve and projecting strends forward had scary realities they were confronting. now, nearly four years later, we are in an incredibly different place. millions of people are gaining
10:32pm
gofrmg through the affordable care act, some of them to fill short coverage gaps, some of them gaini ining health insuran for the first time in years or decades. while there's still gaps, one big gap we can discuss in a little bit, we've made a lot of progress in filling those gaps and in restoring some sanity and taking away some of the desperation you used to see in our old health insurance marketplace. financial assistance is making individual market health insurance affordable to millions of families across the country and providing meaningful security and protection for them as they plan their lives. of course cost growth is at historic lows. we can have a full debate about the role of the affordable care act and promoting the trends we've seen in health care cost growth over the last few years but there is no question that we fr are in a different and better place than we were when we were talking about passing the affordable care act in 2009 and 2010. in the short period of time between the passage of the law and when we saw the health insurance marketplace premiums
10:33pm
for 2014, we saw 15% drop in premiums below the cbo projections because we had so much -- three years of great trend in overall health care cost growth and we're in a very different place on that issue than we were just a few years ago. and so while there's a lot of work to be done and there have certainly been some challenges over the last few years, and be in particular the last few months, we've also made incredible progress and we have a lot to look forward to and that's what i want to talk a little bit more about. i work primarily on the health insurance marketplace and private insurance market so i will spend most of my time talking about that. the health insurance marketplace has enrolled 3.3 million people in the first several months. in october through january, october 1st through february 1st, 3.2 million signed up, the other chunk through states that are running their own marketplace.
10:34pm
about a third of the people who have signed up in that time period are 34 or younger. the coveted young adult demographic is making up a healthy and growing portion of enrollment in the health insurance marketplace. financial assistance is a key part of what the marketplace does and the trends we've seen in recent months have been encouraging. it's familiar to all of us that work on it, but the financial assistance that's available through the affordable care act is chronically misunderstood and something that even people who are coming into the marketplace to shop for coverage are often surprised by. financial assistance is available in two forms. tax credits which reduce the cost of premiums and are available to anyone with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. cost sharing reductions are additional assistance available to a subset of those folks, between 100 and 250% of the federal poverty level and those cost sharing reductions fill in the gaps and deductibles and co-pays in health insurance
10:35pm
product that people buy. so together tax credits and cautionary reductions provide the core of what the marketplace adds to the health insurance market that financial assistance making coverage affordable for lower and middle income families. to date 82% of the people who have enrolled in a plan through the health insurance marketplace are receiving financial assistance, tax credits orcusion nary re -- or cautionary reductions or both. that number started out low and we've seen tremendous exc acceleration and now the vast majority of people signing up are receiving financial assistance to make that coverage more affordable for them. one of the more surprising facts is the fact that only about 20%, less than 20% of people who are enrolling in coverage are selecting a so-called bronze plan. that's the lowest tier of coverage that provides the least amount of financial protection, still light years ahead of where we were in the pre-affordable
10:36pm
care act marketplace, but the lowest level of protection available in a marketplace. i think many people who are used to dealing with the insurance market expected much more of the enrollment action to be in bronze plans, the cheapest plans available to people and instead we've seen a lot of enrollment at the higher levels. and with only 20% of people enrolling in that bronze plan. we have about 65% of people in silver plans which are the next level up. there are a number of factors that drive that silver plan enrollment. but i think we are all encouraged by the trends people selecting health insurance products and finding the product that's right for them and the relatively low enrollment in bronze plans and catastrophic plans demonstrates that health insurance provides something meaningful to the families enrolling. people are seeking out the financial protection that's available to them and taking this opportunity to evaluate really what's going to be best for their families rather than simply selecting the very
10:37pm
cheapest plan that's available. the trends among young people are similar so you've got 19% of people overall selecting a bronze plan, about 15% of young people are making that same decision so the trends and who is selecting which type of marketplace product are consistent across age groups. that's something that i think is different from what we might have expected a few months ago but really demonstrates the role that the marketplace is playing in helping people figure out what's best for them. i also want to talk a little bit about medicaid. the numbers here are a little bit more difficult to parse as i'm sure many of you know, medicaid data available before the affordable care act is not great. there aren't wonderful data streams on who is and isn't enrolled in medicaid and that's changing and we're finally in an era of better state reporting and data about what's going on in the medicaid program. since october, 6 million people
10:38pm
have been determined eligible for medicaid. 6 million families who are -- 6 million individuals and families getting the assistance that comes from the medicaid program and again, it's difficult to say exactly who among those people are -- were made newly eligible by the affordable care act or signed up because of the affordable care act, but 6 million enrolled in the medicaid program over the last few months and that number continues to grow. more than half of states have chosen to expand their medicaid programs. they're doing the right thing and because of that, over the next few years, 4 million people who would otherwise be uninsured are expected to gain medicaid. but one of the major gaps in where we are right now is the fact that there are a number of states that have chosen not to expand their medicaid programs under the affordable care act and as a result, 5.4 million people who would otherwise be covered will be left uninsured because of a decision by their state not to expand medicaid. over the long term, i think we are incredibly confident about
10:39pm
where we're headed with medicaid expansion. you see every couple weeks news from another state that's taking a step forward towards expanding their medicaid programs. the low hanging fruit was the states that were always playing along and were always going to expand their medicaid program but we've seen new stories from places like utah and indiana where medicaid expansion might have seemed ungettable a few months ago and there's forward progress and momentum in that area and to reiterate we are confident that the person who's on this stage three three or four years will be looking at a landscape of where nearly all have expanded their medicaid program. the politics of medicaid expansion are interesting. it's one of those cases where doing the right thing lines up with the economic interests of hospitals and businesses and almost everybody else in the state stands to be in a better position when a state expands medicaid. this is an interesting issue and something to watch in the coming
10:40pm
years. as we continue to look towards 2015 there are a couple big trends i want to talk about. the first is the risk stabilization programs. the affordable care act included three primary programs that were designed to stabilize risk and smooth the transition to the health insurance marketplace. the reinsurance program, the risk corridor program and risk adjustment. reinsurance picks up the cost of the highest enrollees. risk corridors is a temporary program that protects insurance companies against inaccurate rate setting. if insurance companies make judgments that are inaccurate about the overall pool of people they will be enrolling some of the risks of those inaccurate judgments is shared across the market and with the government. if the overall pool of enrollees is healthier than the insurance companies expected and they've overpriced their product, they will owe money back into the risk corridors, into the risk corridors program.
10:41pm
if they've underpriced because the pool is sicker risk corridors will pay out to them. risk corridors and reinsurance are both temporary programs that are focused on marketplace plans only those products that are for sail sale in the formal health insurance marketplace. the other piece of the risk stabilization programs and the one that's certainly most important over the long term is the risk adjustment program. risk adjustment is perm fence and in addition to that it is market wide. it includes all for sale. so we have folks that are -- the 3.3 million growing people who have enrolled through the health insurance marketplace, when you move to the risk adjustment program you add in the millions of people that are enrolled in individual health insurance products that they bought directly from their insurance company. risk adjustment stabilizes across the inside and outside of
10:42pm
the marketplace products and insures issuers can't benefit from cherry picking healthy enrollees. data on reinsurance risk adjustment and the sort of overall way that those risk stabilization programs fit together, won't be available for quite some time. there's a long data lag. the programs conduct their risk stabilizing fund transfers on a calendar year basis. what ultimately ends up happening with the risk stabilization programs for 2014 won't be known until the summer of 2015 and going beyond. but as we -- as issuers plan their pricing decisions and look forward, the risk stabilization programs are really going to play a key role in something that a lot of attention will be focused on in the months to come. another major milestone coming much sooner is plan bids for 2015. in the late spring insurance
10:43pm
companies will begin submitting their bids for premiums for 2015, the first time that we know anything about what issuers are expecting for 2015. i think that will be another key decision point and another opportunity to i a ses where we are and -- assess where we are and what's happening. another change coming in 2015 is employer responsibility. as i'm sure many of you know the law included a requirement that all employers offer coverage to their full-time workers or pay a penalty if they don't. the implementation of that rule was delayed until 2015 and so we've just released the final rules for employer responsibility that will be in place in 2015 and that's another place where i think we will see a lot of action in the coming months and as we prepare for 2015. before i close, i just want to say a few words about something i hope isn't too out of flas a room full of economists and that's the stories of real people who have been affected by the affordable care act. at the state of the union you heard the president tell the
10:44pm
story of a young mom who had been locked out of the insurance market because of a preexisting condition, able to enroll on january 1st and six days after her coverage started she found herself hospitalized with an unrelated emergency that needed emergency surgery because of the affordable care act she was able to get that surgery and it didn't bankrupt her family. there was a woman in maryland diagnosed with brain tumor in the spring of 2013 and she and her daughter were counting down the days on a calendar until january 1 ben the mom would be able to get coverage and the surgery she needed to address this major issue. for the minimal insurance policy offered by her employ ir.
10:45pm
$10,000 annual limit. five minutes after any major medical issue she would find her insurance exhausted and left paying everything out of pocket and even though she knew this insurance wasn't what she said the best insurance out there, she was mom and felt like the responsible thing for her to do was carry health insurance to provide some amount of protection to her family. so she was paying a substantial chunk of her paycheck every month to get this low quality insurance product. the bad coverage of the healthcare.gov she found she could find a health insurance product for $28 a month and wrote a letter to the president talking about what the extra money in her pocket would mean to her every month. that's what the affordable care act is about. it's about putting more money in that woman's pocket and giving her the ability to provide meaningful financial protection in the event she does need health insurance. with that i think i will turn it
10:46pm
over to folks to continue our discussion. >> thank you. >> i neglected to say that impressive bios of these three folks are on the website. i didn't want to use up time to go through them. and i also neg fwlektsed to say that the conference we're having on sustainable health spending will be on july 15th abelieve and lastly as you can tell, an added bonus of these three experts is they're giving your power point weary eyes a rest. dan? >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you, paul. it's a pleasure to be here today with my fellow panel members. my comments today will focus first on the current enrollment challenges that health plans are facing and then looking towards the future, the feed for affordability and market stability to ensure the future success of the aaffordable care act. in terms of enrollment, today health plans top priority is helping consumers through the
10:47pm
enrollment process to ensure they have secure and affordable coverage. healthcare.gov and the overall enrollment process continues to improve but there still are some significant issues that need to be addressed as we move into march which is the last month of the open enrollment period. while the front end of the system has been vastly improved, the significant issues remain on the back end of the system and we've been working night and day with cms to help presolve these issues. health plans continue to identify a range of enrollment issues that have risen such as duplicate enrollments where an individual goes on to the health exchange website, thinks they've enrolled but the enrollment file never makes it to the help plan and the help plan has no records. this is still occurring. still trying to work it through to make sure that we get this problem fixed once and for all. still an issue with other issues
10:48pm
that we're dealing with today which is recent functionality on change and circumstances. this is when an individual enrolls but then the life event occurs. they get married, have a baby, move to another state, most of these changes affect their eligibility or their premium amounts. so as a result the change actually has to be made by the federal exchange. health plans have been providing cms technical feedback as it continues to improve the automated functionality of this change in circumstance system but given the lack of automation much of this work still involves manual processing which can be time consuming and costly for health plans. we'll continue to support both federal and state efforts to fix the technical problems and also improve the direct also improve the direct enrollment process, that's a process by which consumers have the option
10:49pm
to enroll dreamtly through a health plan, but the direct enrollment process also has some technical glitches that we're working through and we'll continue to kind of triage those with cms as we move forward here. we're also working with cms and oth other stake holders on a sitlyfied process, one centered an an easy to use application and streamline connection to healthcare.gov. i don't think we'll see that for this enrollment process but certainly hopefully in the near future. regarding small employers, given the technical issues, cms has delayed enrollment through healthcare.gov. so small employers enroll directly with the health plan. usually through the help of brokers and agents. we believe this delay is appropriate since the basic infrastructure for the federally facilitated c.h.o. p. exchange has yet to be developed and thoroughly tested. resources focus on the enrollment in the individual
10:50pm
marketplace. specifically fixing these backend issues that i identified earlier. many of these issues will linger well into 2014 and we believe it's important to focus the resources on those issues before shifting them to the federally facilitated c.h.o.p. so looking ahead, what will be the success of -- what will determine, i should say, the success of the aca? i think for new exchanges and health insurance market reforms to work, coverage has to be affordable. and there needs to be broad participation in the health care system to ensure a stable marketplace. regarding affordability, cbo recently revised estimates on premiums and now project them to be 15% lower than its previous estimates based on the average cost of several plans in the marketplace today. but it's important to look beyond these averages. the aca compresses age rating to
10:51pm
a 3-1 ratio and prohibits health status rating which results in higher premiums for younger and healthier individuals, compared to what they were paying previously. and a sufficient number of these healthier and younger individuals do not enroll, the risk pool will become less stable which will increase premiums for everyone else. so premium subsidies, as kristen mentioned earlier, are critical, as is the individual mandate. both of these provide incentives for the purr chags of coverage, but they may not be sufficient if premiums are not affordable for these individuals. health plans are currently developing their products for 2015 in a broad and stable risk ba pool is essential to ensure affordable pools next year. the aca includes other provisions that put upward pressure on premiums including an eventual benefits package, more benefits that are typically provided in the individual marketplace.
10:52pm
new benefits, of course, mean higher cost. in addition the aca proposes a new sales tax on fully insured health plans that makes health careless affordable. according to cbo, this tax will be largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums. this tax totals $8 billion this year, and increases by over 40% to $11.3 billion in 2015. so certainly reducing affordability in terms of the cost of premiums. due to this tax, a family purchasing coverage in the individual market this year will pay an additional $270 for the premiums and businesses will pay an additional $360 for each family they cover. we believe this tax should be repealed or at least delayed to ensure that coverage is more affordable, as we continue to implement the affordable care act. health plans have worked aggressively to implement new
10:53pm
tools to hold down costs. one way they've done this is through a development of networks as a choice for individuals who are purchasing coverage. high-value networks keep premiums affordable by creating financial incentives to encourage utilization of higher value treatments and services such as through evidence-based care and lower utilization of unnecessary treatments. high value provider networks are currently designed in two ways. first there's the use of tiers of health care providers based on specific performance metrics including cost efficiency and quality of care. and second, there are smaller provider networks comprised of selected high-value providers who have a track record of providing high quality cost efficient care to patients. state and federal adequacy rules, laws and regulations ensure that consumers have access to a sufficient number and type of physicians and
10:54pm
hospitals in health plan networks. these network designs have become a larger effort on the part of both health plans and employers to preserve benefits, mitigate the impact of rising costs and to promote quality of care while still providing access to a range of providers. and i like to turn and talk a little bit about the importance of the employer mandate and the individual mandate. cristen had mentioned the delay in the employer mandate, but i want to focus primarily on the importance of the individual mandate because some have called for a similar delay in the individual mandate. we think that's a key element of expanding health insurance coverage to the uninsured and it's a central part of the aca coverage expansion structure along with insurance market reforms and tax subsidies. a repeal or delay of the individual mandate would cost premiums to increase significantly, resulting in more
10:55pm
uninsured americans and destabilizing the exchange marketplace as a result of adverse selection. so we think it's critical that there not be a delay in the individual mandate. and then finally, i'll talk about other provisions in the aca that help ensure affordability and market stability. focused on the risk stabilization programs are the three rs. cristen already went through a good explanation of risk adjustment, temporary reinsurance and temporary risk corridors program, but i just want to emphasize that the new market rules create uncertainty about who will purchase coverage and what their cost will be. particularly during the initial years of enrollment. that's why these three rs protect consumers and promote competition. policies on the operation of the three rs have been addressed in a proposed rule on notice of benefit and payment parameters. of specific interest is the need
10:56pm
for additional risk mitigation. we need additional relief here. as a result, the administration's transitional policy that allows many people to remain on their current coverage. without additional measures to stabilize the market, the new transitional policy could cause higher premiums in the exchange marketplace as a result of adverse selection. the administration has recognized this and the potential for market disruption and has proposed adjustments to both a temporary reinsurance program and the risk corridors program to amelirate the selection issues. we believe adjustments are necessary to help consumers have affordable coverage in the 2014 marketplace. final rules on the mitigation efforts are expected to be released soon and what the rules say will be critical with regard to affordable premiums in 2015. and with that, i thank you and i look forward to our discussion.
10:57pm
>> terrific. marilyn? >> thank you. you've heard a very nice, i think, discussion so far of both the aspirations and some of the problems and challenges facing the affordable care act. without all of the hand wringing and jumping up and down that we normally hear in the media these days. and i welcome that because i think this is such an important area when one that you want to get right and you want to improve over time, but a lot of the heat that has come out of the discussion hasn't really even addressed some of those issues. so i think you've heard a nice selection of things being discussed here this morning -- this afternoon. there are three key problems that the affordable care act was trying to address, and it does so in more or less success or it should over time. one in every six people in the
10:58pm
united states had no insurance or thereabouts when affordable care act got started. that's an enormous number of people that you have to try to deal with. unfortunately, we're not going to solve the problem for all of those folks but trying to make a big whack at that number is very important. and, of course, then we're dealing with a sector of the economy in which one in every six dollars of our gdp or thereabouts goes to health care. so this is an enormous change that was coming into place, and an enormous change in which the goal as the president said, perhaps a little clumsily, you don't want to disrupt all the good things going on in market. so you take a very complex huge health care system and you layer on top of that a complex and fairly clunky law and try to make it work. and it's not a pretty thing to have happen. i'm actually surprised in some ways at how well it has gone.
10:59pm
the clunkiness of that, of the law, is not because people didn't understand what some of the challenges are, but because it's just very difficult to do this if what you're trying to do is leave in place lots of things that you like, not make a lot of constituents very unhappy about a lot of things which is part of the political process, et cetera. and the third piece of this challenge that we haven't tackled very well yet, but i think is going to be increasingly important over time, although don alluded to a little bit is the whole notion of maintaining or improving quality of care as we make these changes. that's really an essential piece of all of this, and it is the scare that a lot of people have, even if their insurance doesn't look like it's going to change, will the quality of their care remain the same? and don talked about this, and i'll come back to it in terms of some of the high value provider network changes which is a nice
11:00pm
way of saying what people are talking about now of those limited networks that are going to restrict my choice and cause me problems. when you're not being very rational in talking about it anyway. i think it is wishful thinking that it could have been an easier process or a simpler process to make these changes. in the 1990s, the argument was, well, if the rate of growth of health care spending would just slow, the number of people getting insurance would rise and this would be a self-correcting problem. well, actually, the cost of health care did slow in the 1990s as many people were put into managed care plans, but unfortunately, the number of people how were uninsured did not go down. in fact, they went up over time. we know that technology and greater use of services are the big drivers of higher costs and they don't get managed very readily or very easily. we also know that good insurers
11:01pm
want protections to do the right thing and certain changes are necessary to make the system work. this market is not a market that's a self-correcting market that does all the nice things you learn in economics 101. it's economics 301 where you learn about the market failures that are going on. finally, covering people costs money. something else that people like to forget when they're talking about the problems that are out there. and that is if you add to the system people who have not been able to get into it because they have health care problems. in some cases, pretty minor health care problems that they were excluded for. in other cases, very major health care problems. then surprise, surprise, the costs per person are going to rise. that's a fact of life and something we have to adjust to. the other thing i would remind you all as economists is to remember when you hear the discussion that's going on in the media that to remember the counterfactual.
11:02pm
what would have been if we had not had this change? not what used to be versus what it is today. i remember when -- i have a trainer and when she came to me and said, this stupid aca, they canceled my policy. she was in the private individual market buying a policy every year. and she said, they canceled my policy and they said it was because of obamacare. and i said, okay. i said, and how often in the past have you had to change policies because they've canceled it and told you to buy a new one? she said, well, gee, i guess that does happen about every year, doesn't it? i said, yeah, i think it probably does. about every two years would be a pretty good basis for a lot of private insurance because of the churning that goes on in that market. it wasn't really obamacare that caused it to be canceled, necessarily, it was because of the nature of that market. so you have to be careful when we're pointing fingers and assigning blame to remember the
11:03pm
counterfactual. so what has been the scorecard so far? we've heard a little bit about this. first of all, i think everybody could agree, even the administration, this was a terrible rollout. this is not what anybody wanted. boy, what a nightmare that system was. on the other hand, i'm totally sympathetic to how hard that was. imagine if you're a software developer and someone comes to you and says, we don't know whether we'll have five or six states or 34 states. we don't know how many plans you're going to have to adjust for. you're going to have to be able to talk to as many states, different medicaid programs as exist which have legacy systems that are often out of date, unworkable and don't work within the state but we're going to have to be able to make you talk to it. then you're going to have to talk to all the insurance companies and in some states where they'll allow hundreds of policies to be written, you're going to have to deal with
11:04pm
upwards of around 5,000 policies that ended up in the national exchange. gee, that sounds like a really easy task. doesn't it? to get it to all work just right. it is not going to amazon.com to get your care. but the problem with that rollout was that it made other things look worse. it meant when things were canceled, when people had their insurance policy canceled, they instantly felt that they were trapped because they couldn't go on to the website, they couldn't find out that there were other good plans out there for them, so there was a lot of angst, and fortunately it wasn't the case but people feared it was the case because they couldn't get net informatio information. the good news is that website is much better and people are getting insurance and i think the demand for insurance and the number of people who signed up shows how important this was to individuals and how important it continues to be. and when you look, for example, at the state of california where
11:05pm
insurance is now actually, i think, running a little ahead of what the best case projebss were because their website largely worked the whole time, then this is, i think, pretty much has to be viewed as a demand-driven success. there is a demand, very strong demand for health care. what about the whole issue of the young not signing up? well, let me think. i am going to offer health insurance to people, sick people who haven't been able to get it and have been desperately waiting for insurance are first in line. gee, i'm shocked. i'm shocked that they're the first ones who signed up. and the 25-year-old who doesn't really need it, he doesn't think, because he's invincible, and he also doesn't exactly file his insurance -- i'm sorry, this tax forms as early as possible, et cetera. may with one of the last ones to sign up. i'm also shocked about that.
11:06pm
i think we're getting exactly what one would have expected. we have be careful about this, watch for it. we have to worry about the things that don legitimately raised that insurance companies have to worry about. it seems to me we're in pretty good shape and have in place the kinds of protections that you heard from cristen that are going to help those insurance plans, weather what's going to be rocky times. are there going to be problems ahead? absolutely. we're going to hear new horror stories. there are going to be problems. there are going to be insurance plans that decide they just can't hack this market and go belly-up and people are going to be upset. there's going to be a lot of stuff that come the os out. the limited network, i suspect, issue is going to be raised again because nobody likes to have choices changed. on the other hand, i think things have gone quite well. the other thing that didn't go so well was president obama's
11:07pm
statement and the man is a very good communicator in some ways but somebody gave him really bad advice. he should never, ever have stood up and said if you like wrr insurance policy, you matter what, you can keep it, everything will be just groovy. he should have said, if you have a good insurance policy, meets the standards we want to be met, therefore it will stay in place, if your employer cooperates the way he hopes you will, then you will get to keep your insurance plan. that would have been much more realistic, and it actually would have been better because we would have said, then let's celebrate, for example, this woman in missouri, i think it was, who had the $10,000 plan. we should be celebrating that she doesn't have that insurance plan anymore. we should be celebrating the plans from the bad insurance companies that as soon as you had a health claim canceled your plan because heaven knows they only wanted to sign up healthy people.
11:08pm
we should be celebrating some of those changes, not saying we should promise that everybody gets to keep everything and nobody has to pay any more and nothing is going to be bad. some things are going to be more expensive. some things are going to be problematic. the same is true for some of the changes in medicare that are related to this that have also been in the news lately. one of them being medicare advantage. here it's the wonderful case of the medicare advantage plans are very upset because for a long time, they've been getting extra subsidies and now we're cutting back on those and nobody likes to lose a windfall. i'm sympathetic. i don't like to lose windfalls, either. it's the kind of things we have to think about when we make these changes. what are the changes to come? they're mostly in the quality of care and delivery system reforms that are going to be necessary to help move this clunky not very well functioning health
11:09pm
care delivery system forward and those are going to be changes that whether or not we have the affordable care act, we're going to have to worry about because health care would otherwise be just way too expensive, no matter what. and we're going to have to worry about making some changes that are going to disrupt both consumers of care and those who deliver care. mom and pop doc shops just don't work very well anymore. we need good coordination of care. we need -- we need providers who can talk to each other electronically. we need a whole lot of things that will change. we need to have better evidence and then not deliver care when the evidence is clear that it isn't so good. which means that perhaps low testosterone treatments aren't going to be covered by insurance. get ready for that, folks. that may come soon. and we should all stand up and cheer if that's the case. we are going to need to make
11:10pm
some tough changes and some tough choices and they're not going to be easy because they're going to threaten all of us one way or another because someday, someone's going to come to you and say, i know you say this works for you but there's absolutely no evidence that it does and there's evidence that it hurts you. therefore, as insurers, or as the government we are not going to pay for this any longer. we're not going to tell you probably you can't ever get it. you'll be able to go off somewhere and get it, but we're probably not going to subsidize it or have the public help pay for it. those are the kinds of tough choices that we haven't tackled very much yet that we're going to need to. we've done some clefer things, i think, that are going to get at some low-hanging fruit. i applaud, for example, the efforts to try to reduce unnecessary readmissions. that's a win/win for everybody. if you can figure out how to keep people who should not be readmitted to hospitals from going back in, by making sure that they get good follow-up
11:11pm
care, they get good wound care, they get their drugs readjusted, all of the things that are part of good care and don't always happen, everyone should celebrate that. that will be a good thing. but to get there, we had to impose requirements. we have to have penalties for hospitals which if you interviewed hospitals like three or four years ago, as i happened to do, and suggested to them, for example, that they might follow up with patients who are discharged, their answer was, not our problem. they're out of our -- they're not here. if they come back, we'll give them very good care. but they're going back to their primary care doc, god love them. hope that that person knows they were in the hospital and takes good care of them. now we're seeing changes, sometimes it's with carrots, sometimes it's with sticks, but these changes are going to come. some of them are going to be tougher. we haven't done a very good job of deciding what's actually working in our health care system or not. drugs have a major problem and
11:12pm
there's a lot of things wrong with them, but drugs we test much better than a lot of other things. there are large number of treatments that you and i get that we assume make good sense, that sound like they do well, that our doctors firmly believe in, and that nobody has ever tested except, perhaps, a randomized sample of seven women in some midwest city when the doc decided to do it that way. we just do not test for these things very well. we need to do a lot better at that and be a lot more skeptical about our health care. hang on to your hats. more things are coming. there's going to be a lot more fodder for people to raise -- to raise cane and say the sky is falling. but i think if we want the health care system that we deserve, and which we're thinking about a good health care system, i think we have to remember that we always get the health care system we deserve. we just don't get the health care system in all cases in which we have given the time and
11:13pm
attention to make sure that everyone gets coverage that is done so in a fair way and that we pay attention to quality. and if we're trying to move closer to that, without getting all the way there, it's still going to be disruptive, but some of that disruption is going to be for the better and some of it would have happened, anyway. thank you. >> okay. round of applause. [ applause ] okay. here goes. please be brief. please identify yourself. please indicate to whom your question is addressed. and as i always say, remember that a question ends with a question mark. from bloomberg. nice and loud.
11:14pm
[ inaudible question ] >> just so i heard the question correctly, he said the leveling off of health inflation? [ inaudible question ] >> i've looked at recent reports by the congressional budget office and the office of the actuary at cms, and they do anticipate an increase down the road once we get through the current economic difficulties and certainly we've seen it in health plans largely as a result of provider consolidation, in certain markets where hospitals continue to merge with other hospitals and buy physician practices. those prices go up and those prices are reflected in premiums. so i think until we see stronger pushback by the ftc, doj and
11:15pm
authorities at the state level to make these markets more competitive, i think we're really going to have a problem there in terms of inflation in the future. >> i think there are multimillimultiple things going on, some of which are one-time things and won't fully solve the problem. some of which may well indicate some sea change. the reaction to the affordable care act is very consistent with the reaction to all sorts of other major changes that happen. and that is health care use kind of slows down and drops off a little bit as people look around and wonder what's happening. people were afraid a number of years ago, for example, with the medicare changes in a physician payment system that it would suddenly mean all sorts of increases. didn't mean that because everyone took their time to figure out what was going on. that's part of it. another part of it has been the economy which has been not healthy. and that has undoubtedly helped
11:16pm
slow the rate of growth of spending. and i think some of it is a little bit of a swrjob owning, you're going to tell people often enough and actively enough that changes are coming and people are going to be looking over their shoulders at you, looking at you very closely to see whether or not your cost increases make sense, then you're going to be a little bit more cautious and i think those things could be sustained over time. so i think we've seen a mix of things, some of which may be longer standing but some of which are going to go away. so i would expect to see health care inflation rise, but not to the kinds of rates that we've seen in the past. >> i think my colleagues have covered it well. we've had a couple of great years. we're optimistic about the future and this is something everybody is going to continue to watch closely. >> go ahead. >> i actually have two
11:17pm
questions. unrelated. for dan durham. first is, i wonder if you're as optimistic about your panelists -- [ inaudible ] either five years down the road. and secondly -- [ inaudible ] [ inaudible question ] >> excellent questions. i remain cautiously optimistic that, yes, this will work out the kinks with the enrollment process. it will become easier and automated. it may take a while, but that will certainly help individuals with the enrollment. as marilyn mentioned, the demand
11:18pm
is there. we think it's critical to get these young and healthy in the door. again, as marilyn mentioned, they often, particularly the young, wait until the last minute. so we might see an incredible influx at the end of march on the enrollment side which will certainly help and signal to the plans that the risk pool is broader and stable when they go to put forward their 2015 rate. so, you know, it's difficult at this point in time given the troubleshooting that we've been through, but we'll continue to -- >> although the strange thing, or at least unexpected thing about that is they have to do that now on the basis, still, of no experience with newly enrolled. so it's really a whole year hence that you're beginning to price on actual behavior. on actual claims. >> well, yes and no. the original timeline contemplated in the law called for -- to be beginning just
11:19pm
very, very soon. cms has taken some steps and announced this in the proposed rule that dan mentioned earlier to push the timeline back a little bit and give issuers plenty of time to take a look at their enrollment for 2014 as well as give them a few more months of experience with claims so that they would have better information going into the bid submission process. they certainly won't have a whole year of data, but that challenge is important and something that the administration has really taken steps to accommodate. >> did you want to quick comment on arkansas? >> in arkansas i think it's really up to the state. they're pursuing an expansion in medicaid by advancing premium support to use those medicaid dollars to help individuals purchase coverage through the private exchange. and that's the way they think it's best to move in that state. some other states are trying to do the same thing. so, you know, i know there have been certain problems with the -- i think it's their house
11:20pm
down there in terms of moving that forward, but it's really up to the state to decide the best way to move forward in terms of the medicaid expansion. >> yeah, it's failed passage three times. in tr in three days last week. they're still trying. go ahead. >> sometimes we think about health care as providing more insurance for more coverage. sometimes more drugs for more longer period of time so it's sustainable drugs that are used for your lifetime. sometimes we think about we're needing more doctors. time in the office. sometimes it's more surgeries. i guess my question is, concerns whether or not we're going to improve wellness and life exp t expectancy at a good wealth rate, or more precisely, to what extent does the aca enhance healing health outcomes through better inputs such as low e obesity, better foods, better lifestyles, better drinks, less
11:21pm
fee for service? thanks. >> again, i think that's a very good question. the aca does allow for plans to offer wellness programs in the group market. there is a ten-state pilot that's allowed in the individual market, but we haven't seen the secretary move forward with that. we hope she does. that's very important. these wellness programs are critical and they can result in exactly what you were pushing for in terms of preventative care, getting people to recognize health risk factors, whether it's obesity, whether it's smoking and the like. and we think it's critical that these wellness programs be part of health insurance. >> i think pushing prevention is important and ought to be part of all of this and that's something to keep in mind. the one thing i would point out is that there's some pretty interesting studies that have been done of the medicare population that found that people who came on to medicare who did not have insurance, who had periods, considerable periods of uninsurance cost the
11:22pm
medicare program 15% more on average than other similar folks who did have coverage. and that wasn't just for the first year. wasn't just a catch-up. that was over a ten-year period. so getting insurance has something to it that allows people to have access to care, whether it's drugs, checkups, prevention. it does do things to improve the health status of individuals that over time should help lower health care spending. won't in the beginning because you'll have some catch-up as people get more care, but over time, it should help with health care costs. >> i'll just add that health care -- health is a lot more than health care. that the health care system is only part of the story here and my colleagues at the cdc and the public health agencies are doing tremendous work, much of it supported by the affordable care act to address some of the social determinates of health and investment and community revenge. that is it's not the topic today, but it is an incredibly
11:23pm
important part of the story. >> danny bachmann, deloitte. earlier today, doug holtz ekan said that there was an incentive in the aca for companies to drop insurance for relatively low paid employees. he said up to 300% of the poverty level, i think. and to have them go on to individual exchanges. and he suggested that the cost of doing that would ultimately be much larger than we're currently projecting. he kind of implied that it would be unsustainable. would you be willing to comment on that? >> sure. we've had an employer. based system of providing health care in this country for decades. there was no formal legal requirement that employers provide health care, yet that's where the majority of people get their health insurance. so we have decades of tradition in ploemployee-based health
11:24pm
insurance that i think are important to keep in mind as we look at the incentives of the affordable care act. the health care law contains strong incentives for employers to continue offering coverage. it also contains important nondiscrimination provisions that are designed to prevent exactly the kind of cherry picking that you're talking about. so the law includes these protection to ensure that employers are not discriminating in favor of more highly compensated employees and the provision of their benefits. and while the rules on that are not yet out, when you talk about the long-term story and long-term changes, the back stop provided by the nondiscrimination provisions and employer responsibility requirements are important. >> and just remember that there are some employers who want to get out of the business of providing insurance and have been looking for a good excuse and remembering the counterfactual, it will be the -- obamacare made me do it when they were just waiting for the right moment to do it,
11:25pm
anyway. so when we analyze this, we're going to need to parse that out very carefully and figure out what's going on. i think there will likely be some decline in employer-provided insurance over time but we've been heading there for the last 30 years. so -- >> okay. i think that's it. and one last plug for our july 15th meeting which our director, charlie is fond of saying. he did the econometrics behind the study, three quarters is cyclical and a quarter is structural. he's now on the record as saying that as we get into 2015, if we don't see the big bump that's been projected, then we'll know for sure a lot more of it was structural. so stay tuned. thank you for coming. thank you, again, to our speakers. [ applause ]
11:26pm
11:27pm
♪ >> blown out and broke. year in, year out, uncomplaining, they fought. they choked to death on barren lands, homes nightmares of swelling dust, nights and days. many stayed until machinery, booms, credits, booms, even hope was gone. >> this weekends on american history tv real america, the 1936 settlement administration documentary, "the plow to broke the plains" history of the great plains region sunday at 4 p.m. eastern on c-span3.
11:28pm
>> now more for the national association of business economics with white house economic adviser. previews the president's upcoming proposals like corporate tax reform and infrastructure spending. this is just under an hour.
11:29pm
>> it's an honor and privilege for me to introduce this morning dr. jason furman, june 2013 served as the chairman of the counsel of economic advisers previously awarded in national economics. ..
11:30pm
.. >> wagner school at new york university where he is a visiting lecturer. we are very fortunate to have dr. jason furman with us. we cannot think of a better guy with the policy agenda of the president. also but dr. jason furman graciously accepted to take our questions so if you have a question go to the
11:31pm
microphone. keep it short and please introduced herself. please join me professor jason furman. [applause] >> thank you for the introduction and for inviting me here today and for everything i have learned about the economy from all of you in this room has been great. i spoke a couple years ago in denver. i am excited to be able to come back today. my remarks today i want to start about the current status of the economy with the opportunities that i
11:32pm
think we have to both strengthen the recovery the increased productivity and growth to help insure the benefits are shared by the. the u.s. economy now stands more than five years removed from one of the tumultuous and challenging period in its history that has now become a platitude i am obligated 2.0 around this time 2009 the shot that just hit the economy that was possibly worse than the shots that precipitated the onset of the great depression. my predecessor christie romer pointed out the stock market fall in 2009 was similar to the fall of 2008. but the home prices were considerably larger as a
11:33pm
result five times larger at the onset of the great recession as the onset of the great depression. we have also documented ways that the shock was worse. while we are still digging out there is no question a great deal of progress. adding 2.4 million jobs marks the third consecutive year of job growth from february 2010 private employment has risen in 47 consecutive months for a total of 8.5 million jobs.
11:34pm
we think of the ups and downs with the employment data. you can see steady consistent job growth at a pace of about 190,000 private sector jobs didn't november december the resawed job growth faster than that pays. december and january it did not come up to that average for a variety of things whether the whether seasonal factors or normal boy is sid measurements that bounces around from month to month with that moving average has barely changed. with that volatility of jobs numbers is very much in line with the magnitude of that probability prior to the recession. the progress the last year was notable in part be coz of the steep decline in the federal budget deficit was
11:35pm
the major had planned. the next figure shows the largest for your reduction of the deficit mobilization of world war ii. ended fiscal year 2009 has fallen by 5.seven percentage points cheapie and nearly half of that happened of the last fiscal year alone. the private sector continued to power through the spending caps of 2011 of the payroll tax holiday is indicative of the economy. of those such help to bring about the deficit reduction as a balanced approach to making progress to
11:36pm
sustainability there were necessarily compounded by the sequestration in march and with the shutdown in october it took a large bite out of fourth quarter gdp growth as well. i will say more about fiscal policy and a moment but that it would be considerably less of a head wind in the years to come. before i move on to the more forward part of my talk i want to make one last point about the economy's progress to put it in a context of what we have seen at around the world with recovery from financial crisis. we know it is longer, harder, the more difficult and with that regard to prepare the united states to compare to the 11 other countries that winters
11:37pm
systemic financial crisis as identified and what you see with the working age population and.it within four years which is considerably faster than the normal ted years verses' historic data. is a major -- the measure of the important ones not just the recovery act with the jobs measures that followed including the payroll tax cut a and additional investment. this was fading with the additional measures getting
11:38pm
cumulative lead nine-point 5% gdp growth so those numbers are very consistent with the cbo has estimated. with all other additional measures showed in the red. and to complement the broader policy with the rescue of housing. and the efforts of the federal reserve. they have made substantial gains in the last five years. while many challenges remain including recent weather disruption and some turbulence there is a number of reasons to be optimistic about the economy. cyclical development like headwinds isn't finances are
11:39pm
likely to contribute to a recovery in the near term at the same time be emerging trends declined with the rates of health cost growth with the technological progress was sustained growth into the future. >> the most predictable of reason for optimism in 2014 is the drag from fiscal policy of. >> a bipartisan budget agreement of the discretionary sequester in january then will live to a portion of the cuts during the preceding year. while congress could do
11:40pm
substantially board -- more i will outline some of what that is the economy is unlikely to say anything that is that the federal level 2013 the deficit continues to cut down the economy considerably was. in addition fiscal headwinds appear to be easing well. the second cyclical factor is household finance seeing wealth wipe down as result a large degree of progress has been made in 2013 real per-capita household wealth was a percent of the decline reflecting gains of housing starts prices one is a
11:41pm
striking statistic is the debt service ratio the estimate required payments on mortgage and consumer debt as a sheriff disposable oh come -- in combat fell nine-point 9% to the lowest since the day it began in 1980 down 13% since 2007. further improvements of household finances have expanded access due credit to contribute to a strengthening of consumer spending. to take a vintage of the fact we're continuing to build houses and the auto stock is on average as old as it has been.
11:42pm
the aggregate statistics on household wealth paid to pitcher too many have not shared. they have a larger fraction of wealth in their home relative to equities but they have not recovered as sharply from a larger fraction of the wealth and i will talk more about that issue. three trends helping the economy today the first that has gotten significant and deserved attention is a dramatic increase of energy
11:43pm
production but it is important to understand with the shift of energy that represents not just for our economy before america's security as well. current projections became the world's largest producer of oil and gas 2013 of saudi arabia in russia. domestic production from crude oil rose for the first time since 1995 and further increases of domestic production over the coming years. natural gas production and continue to rise in 2012 of more than 20% over the last five years. but the progress is not
11:44pm
limited to oil and gas. great strides have also been made with energy efficiency. wind and solar power have doubled since the president took office while consumption has fallen over this time in stronger fuel economy standards with cutting edge technologies have led to the latest vehicle fleet ever. but it directly to make united states more attractive for multinational firms industries like manufacturing. the president recently announced of the energy sector to reduce its dependence on foreign oil sources.
11:45pm
the "state of the union" address the president announced his intention with the new executive action to improve the fuel efficiency to help localities attract investment covered by natural gas. the second structural trend i want to talk about is a slowdown in the energy boom is just as important to our overall economy. bennett it is in part to get over the affordable care attacked it is understandable to the
11:46pm
cyclical state of the economy to reverse itself set clear it has become that this is a structural future of the economy. but the next figure shows just how striking for the development is that the real per-capita health care expenditures 2010 through 2012 lovely this year we have data shows the slowest growth they have on record the wingback to 1960 in the preliminary data 2013 shows the slowdown continues that year as well. the council of economic advisers wrote an incentive report about the explanation for this trend. one of the points is merely
11:47pm
a and after a fact there are three reasons for that. first the slowdown is persistent even though the economy has recovered. we see a larger slowdown of medicare them private health insurance. that is notable because as others have stressed medicare is not very cyclical and the fact it slows down is not related to the economy. finally to put into quantities and prices that tends to be cyclical or to raise cost sharing prices historically have been much less cyclical and much of the slowdown has been in
11:48pm
prices measured in the pce or the spread of consumer price inflation. it is increasingly clear at least an important part of a structural phenomenon. that slowdown started before the affordable care act was passed and factors like a long-term trend of higher cost sharing with blockbuster drugs played a role. there is no question some of the already implemented features include the reduction and private insurers as well as payment reforms incentivize better patient outcome contribute to this trend. a look at the cbo estimates the hca would save
11:49pm
$70 billion of medicare but spread out over the years from 2010 through 2013 that alone accounts 0.two percentage point reduction with the growth of the health expenditure over this period. if you add to that spillover that follows the medicare payment model of the total contribution is 0.5%. because of this that deficit dialect over medium and long term has improved. employers are likely to see significant benefits as there is less pressure on compensation cost and at least in part be passed on to workers. with higher wages. the third emerging trend
11:50pm
presents a major opportunity for long-term growth with it technology particularly the it is widely available to the broad band network and a capacity to allow mobile devices to take advantage. 2009 through 2012 in new investment grew more than 40% of 21 billion through 30 billion now with the availability of fraud period. the infrastructure is that the center of a vibrant ecosystem that has more fun design mobile app development with the technologies and sectors and public safety and entertainment and more. of of with the slowdown of
11:51pm
health care cost growth in of the rise of domestic energy production are major reasons to be upbeat about the prospects in the coming years. now with these opportunities still facing a several decades along challenges our growth. to put this into context the next chart shows the history of of our total productivity for the last 60 years. growing at 1.8% per year in the wake of world war ii. says pent-up military part public investment like the interstate highway system. a dramatic slowdown of productivity growth on a worldwide basis after 1973.
11:52pm
subsequently started with the new economy in 1990 productivity growth increased substantially 1.2 percentage but not rising at the pace we had seen in the years after world war ii. while the growth rate of total factor productivity is critical to the central the projected slowdown in the growth of the america's workforce due to the aging of the population gives a greater emphasis on the productivity growth going forward. productivity growth slows 1974 through 1992 the overall was partly masked with what the working age
11:53pm
population of women into the work force. we look forward for such favorable demographic trends for whatever shortfalls' we have that is why productivity investment is likely to be as critical. let me turn to the agenda to strengthen economic growth than the goal is to fold to continue to return the economy to its potential to appear getting closer and closer to the unemployed rate unacceptably high but much lower than anyone would have forecasted and jericho. at the same time we also
11:54pm
need to see increase of long-term growth. fortunately many policies of the president's agenda would return the economy to its potential. let me talk about some of the major elements of the proposal. first the president is right thing to the discretionary level what was agreed upon with the right and maria agreement. just juicy how hard one dash just to see how hard it is to right at that level the president also is opposing on top of that the opportunity of growth to make additional investments split between defense and
11:55pm
nondefense priorities focusing on early childhood education and national security head of financing with of balanced package of tax loophole closers and spending reform over the next 10 years. the president continues to look for ways to make a more sustained investment and one of the highest priorities in that regard is infrastructure. the president will once again propose a reauthorization plan. at the same time we are not waiting for congress to act. in 2011 the president issued an executive order for more transparency and accountability in did the greeks and months ahead --
11:56pm
ahead building on that to make sure they're getting started as quickly as possible. at this saves time to push that infrastructure package to reform the business tax system that will also benefit the economy. business tax reform cuts the top rate at 20% and broaden the base in the process excipient the economy potential that would skew investment decisions. that tax reform would be revenue neutral transitioning to the new system raises the one time revenue and that is what we would use to finance the one time investment with
11:57pm
infrastructure. in addition to physical capital to re-education and training. to give incentives to improve cater 12 curriculum to make college more affordable the president has repeated the call for every child with the opportunity to attend high quality preschool. but it could make a profound difference in decades to come at the same time to focus on every aspect from preschool all the way through job training programs to apprenticeships is. among the most enhance productivity is immigration
11:58pm
reform added basic level it would help to counteract that slower growth of the of labor force from a planet based green card for four board individuals earning advanced degrees to stay here after they graduate. what is exciting not that it just expand the work force but also the per-capita gdp by expanding total factor productivity growth. research has found happening twice the rate of the citizen even after the representation immigration from native his ventures
11:59pm
defied the variations is tied to changes. more over immigrants are more likely to start a business. the cbo affirmed this view would it pass the immigration bill with total factor productivity would be a full percentage point higher in 2033 under the legislation. these could translate into significant economic outcomes 40 percent of the fortune 500 companies started there. borrow they tried to attract on to procurers and entrepreneur to the united states which right to sell in the other direction with
12:00am
the free trade agreement with europe and the trans-pacific partnership said gdp has the most significant trade negotiation in one generation because it has 12 countries hatter home to a combined 793 billion yen to account for 40 percent of global gdp. . .

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)